Housing Element Update
The County of Sonoma is in the process of updating its General Plan Housing Element. Find out more about the process below.
On this page:
Upcoming Events / Próximos Eventos
Join the Housing Element team for a Housing Strategy Workshop with the Board of Supervisors on August 9. We seek board approval of a resolution to classify Sonoma County as a “prohousing” jurisdiction by the Department of Housing and Community Development. Learn more and provide comments on the County's plan that will guide housing for the next eight years.
Please register for email updates and check this space for additional meetings in the coming weeks.
Housing Advisory Committee
Advisory Committee members will advise staff, review draft concepts, serve as community ambassadors to help publicize public workshops, and participate in the planning effort. While the committee is not a decision-making body, members’ experiences related to housing need, constraints to housing development, and feasibility of policies and programs will greatly benefit the effort.
Housing Advisory Committee Membership
|Renter||Fred Allebach||Sonoma Valley Housing Group|
|Developer or builder||Bruce Shimizu||LACO Associates,The Housing Company|
|Developer or builder (nonprofit)||Lauren Fuhry||MidPen Housing|
|Developer or builder (nonprofit)||Rebecca Vazquez
|Member with lived experience of homelessness||Scott Braun||Homeless Action Sonoma|
|Non-profit organization (1)||Mary Eble||Northbay Housing|
|Non-profit organization (2)||Sarah Cardona||Greenbelt Alliance|
|Non-profit organization (3)||Margaret DeMatteo||Legal Aid of Sonoma County|
|Faith-based community||Diana Bell-Kerr||First Congregational United Church of Christ|
|Agricultural community||Guadalupe Flores Medina||Bevill Vineyard Management|
|Farm labor||Santino Garcia||California Human Development|
Supervisorial District (1)
|Joanne Brown||Fish of Sonoma Valley, SVCAC|
Supervisorial District (2)
|Dev Goetschius||Housing Land Trust of Sonoma County|
Supervisorial District (3)
|Evan Wiig||Community Alliance with Family Farmers|
Supervisorial District (4)
|John Cash||Geyserville Planning Committee;
Geyserville Community Foundation
Supervisorial District (5)
|Sonoma County Child Care Planning Council|
|At Large||Rue Furch||Sierra Club, Housing Advocacy Group|
|At Large||Lisa Badenfort||North Bay Realators|
|At Large||Betzy Chavez||Community Development Commission, Los Cien|
|At Large||Crista Barnett Nelson||Senior Advocacy Services|
|Planning Agency (observational)||Belén Lopez-Grady||Planning Commission|
What is a Housing Element?
The County of Sonoma is updating its housing element as required by State law. The upcoming update is known as the 6th cycle. This process is an opportunity for the County to examine all the policies, market conditions, and other forces that contribute to there being enough homes for everyone in the community, regardless of income.
Under California law, the housing element is one of the seven mandated elements of the general plan and must be updated on a set schedule. A housing element is required by State law (“Housing Element law”) to establish policies and programs that will support the provision of an adequate housing supply for citizens of all income levels.
What are the components of a housing element?
The housing element typically includes:
- Housing Needs Assessment: Examine demographic, employment, and housing trends and conditions that affect the housing needs of the community.
- Evaluation of Past Performance: Review the prior housing element to measure progress in implementing policies and programs.
- Housing Sites Inventory: Identify locations of available sites for housing development or redevelopment to ensure that there is adequate capacity to address the Regional Housing Needs Allocation.
- Community Outreach and Engagement: Implement a robust community outreach and engagement program, with a particular focus on outreach to traditionally underrepresented groups.
- Constraints Analysis: Analyze and recommend remedies for existing and potential governmental and nongovernmental barriers to housing development.
- Policies and Programs: Establish policies and programs to fulfill the identified housing needs.
What happens if a jurisdiction does not adopt a housing element?
If a city or county does not comply with State law, it can be sued. In addition to facing significant fines, a court may limit local land use decision-making authority until the jurisdiction brings its housing element into compliance. Additionally, local governments may lose the right to deny certain projects. These and other consequences are established in state law; housing elements are subject to regulatory oversight by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is the state agency responsible for certifying housing elements.
The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) is responsible for administering the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) process.
Read the County’s existing Housing Element; goals, policies, and programs; and information about sites in existing inventory
Sign up for email updates on all Permit Sonoma’s housing policy work, including the Housing Element Update.